News
Alejandro Ramirez Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct
Alejandro Ramirez. Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Alejandro Ramirez Under Investigation For Sexual Misconduct

PeterDoggers
| 357 | Chess Players

GM Alejandro Ramirez is currently under investigation by US Chess and the Saint Louis Chess Club for sexual misconduct. In a tweet on Wednesday, WGM Jennifer Shahade claims to have been assaulted twice by Ramirez and also that she saw "alarming evidence" from other victims.

42-year-old Shahade is a two-time United States women's champion, author, and poker player. As a commentator for top-level chess events held at the Saint Louis Chess Club, for many years she has worked alongside Ramirez, a 34-year-old Costa Rican-American grandmaster, coach, and commentator. Why we haven't seen Shahade in the St. Louis live broadcasts lately was revealed today.

Shahade made her accusations toward Ramirez public in a tweet on Wednesday that said: "Time's up." Attached is the following statement:

Currently there are multiple investigations underway on Alejandro Ramirez and sexual misconduct, including a series of alleged incidents involving a minor. I was assaulted by him twice, 9 and 10 years ago. I'd moved on until the past couple years, when multiple women, independent of each other and with no knowledge of my own experience, approached me with their own stories of alleged abuse. These accounts were from much younger alleged victims. I saw alarming evidence, including texts that admitted abuse of a minor while he was coaching her, as well as a text to an alleged victim about being an underage "temptress."
The road to investigation and potential consequences has been a very stressful process. You may have noticed I've taken a major step back from commentary as this plays out. I've filled the time with poker, writing, and promoting girls in chess. And yet a lot of that work to make chess more inclusive is futile if we cannot make crystal clear that the safety of women, girls, and children is of the highest priority. And that's why I'm speaking out now. Thanks for your support and patience for more details.

Ramirez provided Chess.com with the following statement:

Although I cannot comment on the specifics of Ms. Shahade's assertions due to pending investigations by the US Chess Federation and the St. Louis Chess Club, I understand the concern raised by the allegations levied against me. I am fully cooperating with both inquiries and look forward to the opportunity to respond to these charges and share my side of the story.

Shahade told Chess.com that the misconduct was formally reported to US Chess and the Saint Louis Chess Club in the fall of 2022. Both are independently pursuing investigations.

Around that time, Ramirez acted as an interviewer in the official broadcast of the Sinquefield Cup. He is currently the team coach of Saint Louis University's chess team.

"It's not something I take lightly, but I’ve seen alarming evidence, and kids, girls, and women who may interact with him deserve to know as soon as possible, as do their parents or friends," said Shahade. "Also, this may bring more evidence to light to speed things up. This is a broader problem in chess. Silence helps abusers and enablers."

She added that it was a personal choice a decade ago to move on, but that now she felt compelled to act: "Once an underage girl and student of his at the time of attack confided in me, I felt ethically compelled to bring my own experiences to light to add credibility to their accounts."

Others, including her brother, IM Greg Shahade, have responded with stories of their own.

Since her original tweet, three people [now five - Ed.] have reached out to Jennifer Shahade with similar stories of harassment/abuse.

Shortly after the publication of this article, US Chess published an official statement, which has now been added here. It begins:

US Chess is aware that one of its employees has made serious allegations about a member of the chess community. US Chess will not comment on the status of any internal complaint.

Chess.com has now also received a statement from the Saint Louis Chess Club:

The St. Louis Chess Club is aware of Ms. Shahade’s social media post regarding Mr. Ramirez. The Club cannot comment further at this time as this concerns Club personnel, other than to say the Club is aware of the allegations and is reviewing the matter.

Another development occurred on Thursday morning when the Saint Louis Arch Bishops dropped Ramirez from their roster. The three-time PCL champions have removed him in light of the recent allegations.

PeterDoggers
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by Chess.com in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!


Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Email: peter@chess.com FOR SUPPORT PLEASE USE chess.com/support!
Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: 877 E 1200 S #970397, Orem, UT 84097

More from PeterDoggers
Stephane Bressac Wins Unique 1st Blindfold Chess Challenge, Open To Everyone

Stephane Bressac Wins Unique 1st Blindfold Chess Challenge, Open To Everyone

Caruana Wins Superbet Chess Classic Romania In Playoff After Dramatic Final Day

Caruana Wins Superbet Chess Classic Romania In Playoff After Dramatic Final Day